Jon and Dave Ferguson wrote an AWESOME book a few years back on reproducing your church experience and becoming a missional-based church. If you are a church leader and are interested in 1) taking your church to the next level or 2) reproducing your church (venue or multisite) this book is a MUST READ! [you can pick it up here.]
In their first chapter, they outline 5 Reproducing Principles that I have found myself putting into practice in my Student Ministries that I have been over for the past 8 years (at least). Here is that list:
1] EVERYONE HAS AN APPRENTICE
If you are going to grow as a ministry, and have the ability to reproduce it in a healthy way, you need to have someone who you are growing to take your place. It is not only a practical idea… it is a thoroughly BIBLICAL idea. Moses had Joshua, Elijah had Elisha, Jesus had his disciples… especially Peter, James and John. When you take the step from DOING ministry to TRAINING others to do ministry, you are stepping closer and closer to reproducing health in something like a multisite.
2] REPRODUCING IS PROACTIVE, NOT REACTIVE
Reproducing leadership should be an ON PURPOSE decision, not one that happens to you. If the reason you are reproducing leadership is to solve a problem, and not to fulfill a vision, then you should probably go back to the drawing board and figure out WHY you should reproduce. Multi-site replication is not a fix to overcrowding or to declining attendance… those require different actions.
3] IT’S NOT ABOUT SIZE, IT’S ABOUT LEADER READINESS
Some leaders think that they can’t multi-site their church until it reaches a certain size. That MAY have been the thinking early on, but the statistics show us that there are a lot of churches that aren’t even close to the classical “mega-church” status that are multisite. Why? Because it isn’t about how many are attending your church… it’s all about if your leadership is ready to replicate. It’s all about if there are healthy systems in place, written down, that you can fall back on. It’s about leader readiness.
4] IT’S NOT ABOUT OUR KINGDOM, IT’S ABOUT GOD’S KINGDOM
Before you replicate anything leadership-wise (multisite or not) you have to do some big soul searching. I often am searching my own heart for why I want to build into leaders and interns: “Is it because I want to be viewed as a leader among leaders?” “Is it because I want to build something that everyone will be WOWED with?” or “Is it really because I believe with everything that I am that God has entrusted to me the building and furthering of HIS kingdom here on this earth in this spot… and this is the best way I can find to do it?” A good, old-fashioned heart check is a great place to start.
5] IT HAPPENS ON THE EDGE AND AT THE CENTER
Leader replication can’t just be something that you do for multisite… it needs to happen EVERYWHERE! It needs to be a philosophy of ministry that you buy into whole-heartedly… not just a strategy to get to a multisite campus.
I have loved how this book has challenged me in ministry. It has helped move me from DOING ministry to EQUIPPING others to do ministry… but my goal is to not stop there… but eventually to have those who I am pouring into to take someone else through the replication process.